Be part of something new and exciting!

The City of Tigard is on the cutting edge of online public engagement as the first city to pilot Consider.it, a new social technology that lets hundreds of people deliberate online together.

Kevin Miniter, from Consider.it, came to the River Terrace Community Meeting on December 10th to announce the launch of the new River Terrace Consider.it website. As Miniter enthusiastically described, “Consider.it is a modern adaptation of a Ben Franklin invention: the pro/con list.” Franklin saw the benefits of a pro/con list to facilitate personal deliberation. Consider.it is taking this idea to the next step by using a pro/con list to facilitate public deliberation.

This website allows the user to read through the details of a proposal (such as, Should Tigard work to provide more pedestrian amenities in River Terrace than normally required by city code?), and create a pro/con list by adding their own ideas and drawing from those already made. The user can then state their position, on a spectrum from support to oppose. This information is effectively organized to show the big picture of where people fall on the issue, summarize the most popular points, and allow users to drill down and see the details.

Consider.it founders note that:  “It is challenging for people to listen to perspectives that contradict their own; most people, at least in America, are averse to even engaging with those with whom they suspect of harboring different views. The use of communication media reflect these tendencies, with people highly attracted to content that aligns with their prior beliefs, even those who do not actively avoid challenging content.” This website breaks down these barriers in a number of ways: it provides both pro and con points; it encourages users to consider both sides and choose points for each; and it allows users to choose their position along a spectrum from support to oppose. Contributors are able to share points and, therefore, find common ground.

View the video for more information about how to use Consider.it: